Author Archives: admin

Basic Planting Design, Part 1 of 4

Matching plants to your aesthetic and functional needs and your site’s cultural conditions leads to a healthy and beautiful garden with reduced maintenance and water use.

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Planning Hardscapes

Strive to create a sequence of hardscape features that relate to each other, to your existing conditions, and to rooms within your home.

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Replace Your Lawn with CA Natives

Replacing lawn with drought tolerant native plants can cut landscape water use by over 80%, resulting in potential savings of around 750 gallons per week during the peak of summer for every 1000 square feet.

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Drought in the Landscape: What To Do Now

I’m getting lot’s of calls from people asking how to decrease landscape water use.

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Make Room for Hedgerows!

Strolling amid the tawny hues of late summer, we learned about hedgerows, the wide, dense swaths planted with trees, shrubs, forbs, and grasses.

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Sheet Mulch Your Lawn to Death

Okay, you’re convinced.  You want a lovely, low maintenance garden overflowing with native plants.  But, standing between you and the sweet sound of hummingbirds buzzing your California fuchsia is a large patch of water-sucking green.  It’s time to kill your lawn. Consider sheet mulching.  Also known as sheet composting, this non-toxic soil building  method can be […]

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On Living Within Our Means

Live within your means.  Stick to a budget.  Live sustainably.  Spend prudently.  So many catch phrases urging us to keep our consumption within the limits of our resources.   For Californians, to ‘live within our means’ requires adjusting our lifestyles to reflect the reality of water scarcity. Here in the Sacramento Valley, we just finished the driest year in recorded history. […]

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Much Ado About Mulching

What, you may ask, is this fabulous mulch of which I speak?  Broadly speaking, its a layer of material placed over soil.  My preferred mulch is made from chipped or shredded bark and wood. It can be also be gravel, lawn clippings, shredded leaves, black plastic, carpet scraps, cardboard, etc. Oh, thick layer of wood chip mulch, how do I love […]

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Love Your Pollinators

Pollinators are the buzzing, flying critters responsible for the formation of many of the fruits and veggies that we humans love to eat.  Planting for pollinators is a colorful way to attract interesting and beautiful birds, butterflies, bees, and insects to your garden while increasing the productivity of your edible plants.  The following native plants will do […]

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My Own (Demo) Garden

Summer is cooking along and I’ve been mulling over my own garden.  I moved into my new home last winter.  Its a darling vintage bungalow on a corner lot in the Avenues. Pistache and Hackberry trees planted in the parkway strips grace the front yard with dappled shade.  The back yard gets the most sun (great for the veggies) and […]

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